Boris Johnson fails to give any correct answers to IQ test live on air

Quiz came in the wake of the London mayor's comments controversial comments about poor people not succeeding because of low IQs

London Mayor Boris Johnson was forced to declare that “no one said IQ is the only measure of ability” when he was ambushed live on air with a short quiz and failed to give a single correct answer.

Appearing today for the first time since he controversially seemed to suggest low IQ was the reason poor people did not succeed in life, the Eton- and Oxford-educated politician was set three official IQ questions by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari.

The mayor appeared evasive when answering the questions on his regular Ask Boris radio slot, and also struggled to answer some basic queries about London Underground ticket fares.

Asked how many apples he would have if he took two apples from three apples, the Mayor replied: “You've got loads of apples mate, you've got one apple left.”

Are you smarter than a London mayor? Take the test

Mr Ferrari said: “You say you've got one apple? You haven't, you've got two apples.”

In another question, Mr Ferrari asked: “A man builds a house with four sides of rectangular construction each side with southern exposure. A big bear comes along. What is the colour of the bear?”

Mr Johnson said it was probably brown, then added that he did not have a clue. The answer is white, since it must be a polar bear on the North Pole.

Finally, the mayor was asked: “I went to bed at 8 in the evening last night and I wound up my clock and set my alarm to sound for 9 o'clock in the morning. How many hours sleep did I get?”

Mr Johnson refused to answer, adding: “No one has said that IQ is the only measure of ability.”

The test came after the mayor sparked a wave of criticism last week when he said that 16 per cent of “our species” had an IQ of less than 85 and just 2 per cent over 130 before adding “the harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top”.

Chancellor George Osborne said he did not agree with the mayor's comments and Prime Minister David Cameron made clear that he did not share the sentiments, while Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, branded it “unpleasant, careless elitism”.

In the LBC interview today, Mr Johnson also reportedly said he had not once met with union boss Bob Crow in the six years he has been mayor, despite the fact that the RMT leader represents London's bus and tube workers.

On the topic of selling off the naming rights for Tube stations, he also claimed that Marble Arch had once been called Selfridges. The Guardian said this was a claim he has made twice before, but which emerged to be untrue.

Defending his speech in honour of Margaret Thatcher earlier this week, he said: “What I was saying actually is there is too much inequality and my speech was actually a warning, as correctly reported by many newspapers, actually a warning against letting this thing go unchecked.

“What hacks me off is that people with ability have found it very difficult to progress in the last 20 years and we have got to do something about that.

“The key thing I said was that inequality was only tolerable in our society if you, number one, you looked after those who are finding it tough to compete and, number two, where people do have talent and ability you let them get on and so I went on to explain what you needed to do.“

Asked about the criticism his speech had provoked, he said: “People are entitled to misinterpret, wilfully to misconstrue what I said if they so choose. I notice that many newspapers, many commentators did not. I think the real issue is we need to do more to help people, both who are finding it tough and people who... 20 or 30 years ago we had much more fluidity.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

Software Engineer - C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

Software Team Leader - C++

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor